NYAGATARE-The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, has commended an inventory credit system that allows farmers to have access to credit while using their harvest as a guarantee, and encouraged farmers to join in large numbers.
The farmers’ harvest is stored in a warehouse or grain storage until the loan is repaid.
The Minister made the call after last week’s visit to Nyagatare Maize farmers’ cooperative that benefits from the new programme.
In Nyagatare, the Inventory Credit System is conducted by Rwanda Development Organisation (RDO) in conjunction with Duterimbere, a microfinance institution.
Speaking to scores of farmers in Nyagatare Sector, the Minister called on residents to massively join the system as a way of improving the quality of their production.
Kalibata added that the new system will also help residents in storing their produce during rainy seasons as well as buying farmers’ yields at relatively good prices.
“You should join this new system as it will protect you from selling your produces at low prices, especially during harvest when there is ample supply,” she said.
In a separate interview, the Minister said that the Inventory Credit System has been launched in various parts of the country after its potential was realised.
“We have opened up the new system in several parts of the country, including Bugesera and other parts in Southern Province,” she said.
According to officials from RDO, the need for and lack of credit can force farmers to sell their crops to the first buyer at harvest, often at low prices.
Stanislas Mutabaruka, one of the farmers who joined the new system, said that it has improved his life.
“My level of agricultural production was very low before I joined this credit system. But since joining I have made incredible improvements in my annual income from farming,” he said.